Minister: Possibly 400 000 valid land claims

Pretoria - There could be as many as 400 000 valid land claims that can still be lodged by victims of apartheid-era forced removals, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said on Thursday.

Briefing the media in Pretoria following Cabinet's fortnightly meeting the day before, she said the executive welcomed President Jacob Zuma's signing into law of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act.

The new law opens a second five-year window for the lodgement of land claims. The previous window closed in 1998.

"While approximately 80 000 land restitution claims were lodged by the 1998 deadline, it is estimated that there are up to five times as many valid cases that can be brought by victims of apartheid-era forced removals," Muthambi said.

Cabinet called on South Africans to spread the message "to ensure that victims of land dispossession, who... missed the 1998 deadline, come forward to lodge their land claims from 1 July [this year] until June 2019," she said.
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